DANVILLE — Danville Borough Fire Chief Ken Strausser told the borough council he has more questions than answers about new radios for firefighters.
He said radio reception is "terrible at best" for the Danville Fire Department.
"The merger was supposed to better" location accuracy and communication, he said.
Montour and Columbia counties merged their 911 centers into the East Central Emergency Network in 2016.
Strausser told the council Tuesday night he understands the company they bought radios from two years ago will buy them back dollar-for-dollar. He said new radios for his department would be $222,000 with Montour County absorbing 50 percent of the cost.
Councilman Wes Walters said he spoke with Southside Fire Company officials who told him it will cost $6,000 for radios instead of an estimated $63,000.
Strausser said the Danville Fire Board Monday night voted to "jump on the train with the county." He said he didn't know about a Thursday meeting between municipal and fire department officials in the 911 center in Bloomsburg.
Strausser is trying to arrange a meeting with the county commissioners and fire chiefs.
The county commissioners will meet at 11 a.m. Aug. 21 in the courthouse. One of their agenda items will be a discussion of radios for emergency responders and others. The network board is scheduled to meet Aug. 22 to consider joining the STARNet state system that Montour County Commissioner Trevor Finn said should greatly improve radio communication.
Danville Police Chief Eric Gill, who attended the meeting last week, said police radios could cost $60,000. He said the council should be told in the near future how radios can possibly be financed.
"There's a lot we don't know and a lot of details that are fuzzy. At best we don't want to be pushed into a rash decision. We want to gather more information and slow down and make a wise decision. We will let our professionals gather more information," Council President Scott Richardson said.
Borough solicitor Robert Marks Sr. said there is a 60 percent rate off the cost of radios with Motorola, as of Aug. 22, with a 10-year lease that the county could take out at a 3.2 percent interest rate.
Borough Manager Shannon Berkey said since the council won't meet again until September, it was an unfair situation since meetings about radios are being held next week.